Brian Thomson, the RPO’s Principal Trumpet, has been involved in a wide range of RPO resound activities over the course of 2011. Community & Education intern, Hannah Taylor, has had a chance to catch up with him about just a couple of these projects.
Hannah: You played a huge part our Family Matinée at the Cambridge Corn Exchange, Meet the Brass, at the end of October. Was there a particular part of the day that you enjoyed the most?
Brian: My favourite part was meeting all the children when they had a chance to come and try the instruments. It was great for them to have the chance to get up close to the people and the instruments they had seen performing on the stage. It was also nice for us to meet them, offer encouragement, inspire them to learn about music and hopefully even learn to play a brass instrument! It was also fun performing to so many people. I think they all enjoyed getting closer to the music and being drawn in through the interaction with the players.
Hannah: A Bigger Sound, our recent partnership project with Music in Prisons and Rideout Theatre at HMP The Mount, was a landmark project in terms of its scale and cross-genre art collaborations in prisons. What were your thoughts on it?
Brian: A Bigger Sound was an immensely rewarding project, both for the inmates and the musicians. We had a brilliant outcome with the gig, but there were several elements that contributed to the overall success of the project. We built up strong relationships with the inmates over a period of time through the process of creating all of the music and drama together. Eventually we reached a point where we were all interacting really effectively for the final performance. Every musician’s contribution was essential to the group dynamic.
It had an enormous impact on the musicians and the inmates have been extremely enthusiastic in their responses both during and after the performances, telling us that it was a unique and uplifting experience for them. It was the social and professional fusion of personalities that created such diverse creative ideas for a collective collaboration; I’m sure they will take away a great deal from this project and look back on it in the future. By the end there was an amazing amount of regard and affection between all concerned… A very emotional experience!
You can read more about both of these projects in the latest issue of RPO resound, available from www.rpo.co.uk.